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Tips To Stay Safe While Learning Online

As lockdown restrictions continue, the process of welcoming back our learners in class is still uncertain at the moment and with the enduring threat of local restrictions being applied at any given time, we will be delivering ‘Blended Learning’ as part of our strategy in the future, at home, as well as in our Gwyneth Morgan Training Centre.

What is Blended Learning?
To put it simply, Blended Learning is a two- way process of teaching. The first is using face to face interaction to educate (in Gwyneth Morgan) whilst the second is through electronic platforms to educate online (remote learning). The model is used to maximise our educational impact and ensure our Learning is accessible to all.
Whilst many of us are now familiar with the concept of working from home, it will be important to consider, what the ‘new norm’ might look like.

Blended learning allows for both in class and remote learning environments to work hand in hand, helping all our learners achieve their maximum potential. This will ensure that in the case of any local or national lockdowns in the future, Wandsworth Lifelong Learning will continue to deliver its high-quality training to all. The internet is a great resource for finding information and learning, but it’s important that you are aware of the potential dangers.

Here are some safety tips to remember when you are using the internet:
1. Don’t give anyone your password, name, address or any information about your family
2. Don’t talk to strangers on the Internet
3. Don’t agree to meet anyone in person that you’ve met online
4. Don’t fill in a profile that asks for your name and address
5. Don’t visit a chat room if you don’t know who is in it.
6. Don’t stay online if you see something you don’t like of is worrying you.
7. Don’t post pictures of yourself or your family.
8. Do not download or install anything on your computer, unless you are sure it is safe.
9. If you have any questions about something you read, ask a friend for advice.
10. If you are talking to someone online and they make you uncomfortable, remember you don’t have to talk back to them.
11. If you see or experience something online that upsets you and you know is wrong, report this to the Police.

Keep Your Personal Information Private
The Internet is full of opportunities to share personal information, but this can make you vulnerable to identity theft, cyberstalking, and other issues.

Consider What You Share in Profiles
On social networking sites, it’s common to include a lot of information on your profile. From your employer to your religious views, think twice before you put it out on the web. Make sure the information you share is suitable for all eyes.

Think About Photos Before Sharing
Sharing photos can be a great way to connect with friends and family, but they can also make you vulnerable. Before sharing a picture, take a few minutes to examine the background for details. Be sure you fuzz out our crop photos that show your house address, your car license plate, and other information people could use to find you.

Watch Out for Phishing
Phishing is a common trick used by identity thieves to gain your personal information. This crime involves sending e-mails or creating sites that appear to be from a legitimate company and asking you to confirm personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords, birth dates, or addresses. PayPal and eBay are two of the most common targets for phishing scams. Before adding any personal information, contact the supposed site directly to see if they have been trying to contact you. Most reputable sites will not contact you in this way.

Choose a Great Password
Although it may be tempting to choose a password that’s easy to remember, such as your child’s name, your birth date, or your favourite sports team, these kinds of passwords leave you open to identity theft and fraud. According to Consumer Reports, 32% of adults used passwords based on simple personal information. Instead, it’s better to create a password that meets the following criteria:
• Eight or more characters
• A number, as well as letters
• A special character, like %,*,@, or ?
• Upper and lowercase letters
• No personal information

Online etiquette and guidelines

• If you enrol on an online course, then 100% attendance to all sessions is expected and monitored.

• Make sure that you attend the virtual session in plenty of time to get logged in, so that the lesson can start on time. The class is to help you and your learning.

• Please wear appropriate clothing for attending a lesson.

• Follow all etiquette rules that are given by your tutor at the start of the lesson/course.

• Choose a suitable workplace, make sure you are in a quiet place in your home, so that you can fully concentrate on the session and is appropriate for the online classroom.

• You must have your camera on, but please be aware of what others will see in your background.

• SHHHHH! Make sure your Microphone is on mute when you are not talking.

• Do not take screen shots or photos of others online.

• Make sure you have equipment with you to make notes from the session.

• You will be encouraged to participate and engage in the session. Your tutor will instruct you on how to raise a question.

• If you want to raise any concerns or raise a safeguarding issue, please contact one of our Safeguarding staff. Contact numbers and e-mail addresses are on page 11.

• Your learning and progress is extremely important to us. If you are not sure or require a recap on any of the topics, please make your tutor aware of this during your online learning experience.

• RESPECT everyone’s views online.

• ENJOY this new way of learning. It is new to a lot of people and it may take time to adapt.

Data Security
It is important that you understand the importance of following agreed rules and procedures to protect information that you process or have access to.

Key rules to follow:
• Do not give your password out to anyone.

• Always lock your computer when leaving your desk – Ctrl, Alt + Delete pressed together will lock your computer and keep the information secure.

• If you have documents that are no longer required and contain information dispose of them correctly by either using your organization’s confidential waste bin or a shredder.

• Respect the need for confidentiality of information – do not discuss sensitive information with others in or outside of work.

• Store your work or files that contain confidential information in a secure place e.g. a locked cabinet or a password protected folder on your computer.

• Do not let anyone else use your pass (if you have one) and gain entry to your office. You may be acting considerate by leaving the door open for someone coming into the office, but this could pose a potential risk by letting a stranger in.

• Keep your desk clear, don’t leave paperwork out when not required or leave sensitive information unattended



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